With certain sleep deprivation being about 20 weeks away, I have started considering what things would cause me to crack when my first was born. It wouldn’t always be directly caused by a crying or puking baby. Though, that was the cause of the tiredness and paranoia, it would often be something completely unrelated and usually harmless that would cause my bloodshot eyes to fill with tears and a barely audible nasal whine to start at the back of my throat. To help me revisit here are two of my finest postnatal moments:
The Cursed Teaspoon
*Content note: Read the following with the light on as it is very frightening….
This actually happened while my partner was still on paternity leave, so my son would have only been a few days old. I went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea as we needed something to dunk all of the millions of biscuits we had been given and therefore decided to live on into. I opened the cutlery drawer only to be confronted with the most unsettling of horrors – a teaspoon I didn’t recognise. There it was, nestled among all my matching teaspoons like a seedy interloper. My blood ran cold. Where had it come from? It wasn’t there before. I called for Shaun, my voice starting to tremble. I asked if he knew where it came from. I pointed at it, unable to bring myself to touch it. He didn’t know. I started to cry. The fact he wasn’t disturbed by this caused me to cry harder. “But how did it get here? Why is it here?”, I kept repeating, until I was lead back to the sofa and had a blanket placed around my shoulders. Shaun finished making the tea and I ate biscuits to calm my nerves. To this day I can only assume it was left there by an evil wizard.
Hurricane Guinea Pig
I was having a bad day. A standard bad day for most, but for someone like me? Yikes. I had forgotten to pay my mobile phone bill that month (probably because I had just had a baby and forgot I was still expected to do normal things as well as keep a small, incontinent human alive) and was unable to pay it because Orange froze my online account. For not paying my bill. Blocking all access to pay. Yes, I thought that was a stroke of genius on their part too. In addition to this my son decided to have an I am not going to sleep or stop crying once day that day, unless I held him and remained in constant motion walking around the house not even stopping to so much as lean against a wall for 5 seconds. Oh, those hazy days!
During lap 659 of my house a thunder storm started to gather. On my way past the dining room window I looked into the back garden. At that moment a huge gust of wind, possibly a small tornado hit the garden flipping over the guinea pig hutch. This seemed to happen in slow motion, the hutch spinning over mid air, an explosion of sawdust and pellets forming a mushroom cloud over the garden. Starsky, the older of the two piggys was thrown clear of the hutch and was rolling across the garden. Mr Piggles who was in the sleeping quarters at the moment this unspeakable natural disaster struck was no where to be seen. I screamed. Quickly I placed my now sleeping baby into his pram, but having the nerve to put him on a flat, motionless surface caused him to instantly wake and cry. Thinking on my feet I ran into the garden. By this point torrential rain had started falling. I picked up Starsky. I tried to lift the hutch but it was too heavy. I opened the door of the hutch and managed to scoop out Mr Piggles. They both kept wiggling and I dropped Starsky. I had no choice but to use my dress as some kind of make shift guinea pig carrying device and lifting up my skirt to turn it into a kangaroo pouch I dropped them in. Unfortunately it had previously boiling hot that day so I had bare legs and had to display my pants to anyone who happened to be looking into my garden at that time (I find it easy to comfort myself that no one was looking into my garden then). Throwing my dignity aside I waddled into the house, undies on display with rescued guinea pigs rummaging around in sundress pouch to be greeted by baby screams and I put them in their travel box. In my trauma and desperation I remembered I had no phone so had to send my partner a lengthy and highly distressed Facebook message insisting that he must come home immediately as the apocalypse was starting in our small terraced house and if he didn’t get here soon we would be overrun with locusts and that Misty our cat was sitting on the travel box to intimidate the piggys. He told me that I needed to calm down and that his boss was not going to let him leave early because the cat is a bastard and the guinea pig hutch had blown over. That’s what you get if you work somewhere without good Union representation I suppose.
Pregnancy has started to cause small warning signs of this behaviour to return. Lately I am convinced there is a spider hiding in my oven gloves making me frightened to put them on. Also thanks to my son, now a toddler, I almost lost it yesterday when he was eating a hot cross bun and decided to individually remove each raisin, had to hold the raisin up saying “It’s a raisin mummy, mummy it’s a raisin”, and wouldn’t eat the raisin until I had acknowledged the raisin was indeed a raisin. This on repeat until all raisins had been removed, acknowledged and finally eaten from both halves of the hot cross bun. That is the last time I buy the extra fruit variety.